Listen To Nightmonger by Midnight Eye

Local metal band Midnight Eye is releasing their EP Nightmonger and they kick off their tour supporting it with a free show this Thursday, August 8th, at The Pinch in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington DC (details here). Stream the EP above, pick it up on Bandcamp here and be sure to come out Thursday to watch these guitar wizards pull this stuff off live. And while you’re listening to Nightmonger, check out the review of it below by new DCHM writer Tal (you can find more of her writing on her regular blog here).

Band: Midnight Eye
Album: Nightmonger
Release Date: 8 August 2013
Buy From Bandcamp for $4: Here

Cover of Nightmonger by Midnight Eye

Midnight Eye further develops their distinctive sound with their 3-song EP Nightmonger. The new release keeps the energetic heavy metal/thrash groundwork that they laid in their first album, Sign, but also takes a few steps further in the progressive direction, with unusual vocals as well as widely varying guitar passages. But these guys have the guitar chops to tackle all the different styles they want to pursue, and piece them together fairly cohesively.

Rocking NWOBHM riffs just on the verge of thrashy form the base of their sound, occasionally taking off into a full-out frenzy-inducing thrash whirlwind. Along with shreddy guitar solos, there’s also a lot more noodling compared to the first album and even a low-tempo acoustic passage in the second song, “Chaos.” The change of pace when the acoustic segment begins is a little jarring, but it doesn’t utterly destroy the energy of the song. The bass and drums soon come back in to give the instrumental some thrash kick, and after the lead guitars meander for a bit, they finish the song with a speeded up version of the main riff, giving it a satisfying conclusion. Missing from the EP are the doomy segments that haunted a couple songs from the first album, but the third song, “Outsider,” features some buzzsaw black metal riffs instead. The end of this song, which really picks up the black metal sound with insistent drums and sweeping tremolo riffs, is one of my favorite moments on the EP.

While the guitars have immediate appeal, the vocals take some getting used to. The tone of the mid-range clean vocals, which dominate Sign, is unusual, although it sounds sort of like a mid-range take on early King Diamond. Nightmonger showcases a lot more of Simon Callahan’s ability to generate King Diamond-like shrieks and high-pitched notes, especially in the second song, “Chaos.” I’m still not quite sure if their attempt to combine the shrieks and clean vocals works in that song, but I do prefer the high-pitched vocals to the mid-range ones overall.

I enjoyed staring at the simple and yet intricate cover design for a while. It reflects the band’s carefully executed complexity, and hints at the black metal touches in their music. The depth of their lyrics also matches the complexity of the band’s sound. I enjoy lyrics that are a bit poetic, rather than obvious and straightforward. While the chorus of the first song is pretty direct – “people cling to these very truths:/they love their nation/before other nations/they love their friends/not others” – the verses are more subtle. This song is apparently based on the Chinese philosophical text Zhuangzi, which espouses harmony with the natural way of things, so the nature images in the verses are a fitting touch. The ending of the song – “sound the alarm/tell everyone/there’s no purpose/to anything at all” – at first seems like an abrupt break with the theme of waxing and waning concern for others. Chinese philosophical anecdotes often end with a lesson, though, and looking at it that way, the lesson in the last verse is that human attachments are so changeable that there’s really no purpose in pursuing them. The other two songs, while not as cryptic, are also nicely constructed, using images and metaphors to propel their message of distrust of those in power. I particularly like the phrase, “outsiders,/from shades of grey/are made in the/gears of the world,” from the third song, “Outsider.” It reflects a penetrating awareness of how otherness is constructed and used by the majority.

I’m enjoying the EP more with each listen, and looking forward to hearing the band play it live. Midnight Eye is holding a release party this Thursday, supported by Exar Kun and Thrain, so don’t miss the chance to see these stellar guitarists live. I’ll be there pushing people around when the thrashy parts take off!

Black Sabbath and Mayhem Fest Ticket Contest

Mayhem Fest and Black Sabbath

There’s a couple of kick ass metal shows coming up in the next few weeks at Jiffy Lube Live and DCHeavyMetal.com wants to make sure as many of you can go to these shows as possible! Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Fest is headlined by Rob Zombie this year and will be at JLL on Wednesday, July 24th and we’re giving away a pair of pit tickets to it! Ozzy Osbourne is back with Black Sabbath and they’re coming to JLL on Friday, August 2nd and we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets to that show as well! To enter: Just leave a comment on this post telling me which concert you want to go to and why. You can enter for both if you want, but you can only win tickets to one of the concerts. On Friday, July 19th at 5pm EST I’ll use Random.org to select 2 winners, one for each show, to win a pair of tickets to the show they chose. Make sure you enter in a valid email address you check regularly when you submit your comment so I can contact you if you win, though it doesn’t need to be in the comment itself. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or sell your info, I hate spam too. If I don’t hear back from a winner within 24 hours another winner will be chosen. If you can’t wait to see if you win the tickets, or the contest is over when you read this, you can buy tickets to Mayhem Fest here and Black Sabbath here. Now here’s a little more info on each show…

This year’s Mayhem Fest will have over 18 bands playing on four stages! On the main stage you’ll find Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon and Amon Amarth, the last of which will be bringing a giant viking ship on stage (you can catch a glimpse of it in the video below)! But don’t think there aren’t any bands worth seeing on the other stages. Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Job For A Cowboy, Battlecross, Huntress, Scorpion Child and many more are going to be tearing it up on those stages as well. It’s going to be a hell of a day for metal!

Just last month Black Sabbath put out their new album 13 (read our review of it here), the band’s first full length with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978! The godfathers of heavy metal will be playing their classics along with some of the new material for a show that is going to please metal fans young and old. I’m not sure what else I should really write here, it’s fucking Black Sabbath, if you’re a metal head then you need to be there!

Deafheaven ticket give away

Deafheaven

San Francisco based atmospheric black metal band Deafheaven is touring this summer and they’ll be at the Rock And Roll Hotel this Sunday, June 30th and DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to a lucky one of you readers. To enter leave a comment on this post telling me who your favorite black metal band from the US is. At 5pm EST this Friday, June 28th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If you can’t wait to see if you win then you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $12 here.

Deafheaven plays a rather hypnotic style of black metal that fans of Alcest, Wolves In The Throne Room and Krallice will enjoy, though they’ve put their own California style take on the sound. Their new album, Sunbather, takes the standard frozen wintery darkness commonly associated with black metal and does a full 180 with its imagery of summer heat, blinding sunlight and sunburnt skin. Give the album’s title track a listen on the YouTube video below. The song is 10 minutes long but it goes to a lot of different places in that time and is definitely worth the full listen. Also on this tour is Marriages. They’re based out of LA and not really a metal band but two of the members, Greg Burns and Emma Ruth Rundle, are both from Red Sparowes. The opener is a electonic/doom band from Baltimore named Curse. I’ve posted a song by each band below so give them a listen and tell me who your favorite USBM band is!

Torche ticket give away

Torche

Miami Florida’s Torche is bringing their thunder pop to the Rock And Roll Hotel on Saturday, June 15th and DCHeavyMetal.com is giving away a free pair of tickets to a lucky one of you readers. To enter just tell me which song you’d like to hear them play the most in a comment on this post. If you need help then just check out their discography on Metal Archives (here). At 5pm this Friday, June 7th, a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to win the tickets. Be sure to use a valid email you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any spam lists or sell your info or anything sleazy like that. If you can’t wait to see if you win then you can get tickets from Ticket Alternative right now for $14 here.

Torche plays a sort of stoner metal and rock hyrbid that is full of great riffs, and they are really fun to watch live. This show should be a lot of fun! They’re playing with Canadian hardcore band KEN mode as well as the excellent Ohio based band Lo-Pan. Hell, even if you don’t win you should come out to this show, it’s going to be a lot of fun on a summer Saturday night! Now give a listen to these videos below by each of the bands playing and decide which Torche song you want to pick to enter!

Black Sabbath ticket give away

Black Sabbath at Jiffy Lube Live

The fathers of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, will be coming to our area on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, to perform live at Jiffy Lube Live! Needless to say, that’s a big deal here at DCHeavyMetal.com! Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10am (here) but we’re so damn excited that we just can’t wait that long to give away a pair to one of you lucky readers of the site. You don’t want to sit on the lawn to watch this sure to be epic show so we’re giving away a pair of seated tickets! To enter just tell me your favorite Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath song in the comments section at the end of this post. At 7pm EST on Thursday, May 9th, 2013, the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of seated tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, win or lose I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If you need help remembering what Black Sabbath songs Ozzy sang on, click on the following links for the track listings of his each of his albums with the band: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Vol. 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sabotage, Technical Ecstasy and Never Say Die!

Black Sabbath released their self titled debut album on Friday the 13th of February 1970 and with it and the albums that followed they laid the foundation that heavy metal and all of its splintering sub-genres are built upon. Ozzy Osbourne was very publicly ejected from the band in the late 70s and aside from a couple of bonus songs at the end of their Reunion live double-album in 1998, they haven’t released any new material with him since. That ends on June 11th when Black Sabbath releases 13, Black Sabbath’s first full length album with Ozzy on vocals since 1978! The master of heavy riffs, Tony Iommi, is still at it on the band’s new track God Is Dead?, which you can listen to below. The support on this tour is being provided by the hard partying Andrew W.K. Now check out the new Sabbath track and a few of my personal favorites as you leave your comment to enter the contest!

Ghost BC ticket give away

Ghost at the 9:30 Club

The mysterious Swedish band Ghost BC (they’ve been forced to add the BC for legal reasons) will be performing at the 9:30 Club on Monday, May 13th, 2013, in support of their new album, Infestissumam. Ghost is a very theatrical band live and DCHeavyMetal.com wants to make sure as many of you get to see this show as possible so we’re giving away a pair of tickets to this show! To enter just tell me your favorite Ghost song in the comments section at the end of this post. If you need help, you can see the track listings of their two albums here and here. At 5pm EST on Friday, May 3rd, 2013, the contest will close and a winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org) from all valid entries to get the free pair of tickets to the show. If I don’t hear from the winner within 24 hours then I’ll randomly pick another person to get the tickets. Be sure to enter with a valid email address you check regularly so I can contact you if you win. Don’t worry, I won’t add you to any email lists or anything like that, I hate spam too. If you enter more than once then all of your entries will be disqualified. If the contest is over when you read this or you simply can’t wait to find out if you win the contest you can buy tickets from Ticket Fly for $20 here.

Ghost made waves in the metal world when they released their debut album in 2010. Their sound is a throwback to acts of yore such as Blue Oyster Cult and Mercyful Fate. The band is completely anonymous and go on stage wearing costumes and masks that hide their identity. The Nameless Ghouls, as the band members are called, all dress the same except for their front man, Papa Emeritus II. His creepy stage presence is unmistakable and, combined with with Ghost’s music and imagery, conjures the feeling of some kind of evil church service. Their sophomore album was just released in early April and this will be the area’s first chance to see Ghost perform their catchy new material live. The supporting act on this tour is Ides Of Gemini, a haunting rock band from Los Angeles, California. This all adds up to a show that shouldn’t be missed! Now check out these recent Ghost videos below, as well as one from Ides Of Gemini, and enter the contest below!